January 2, 2013

The Cheater’s Guide to Sitting in Lotus Pose.

So you’ve always wanted to be a real meditator—or a real yogi—able to sit in lotus position like the grown-ups.

You have visions of your friends snapping a photo of you in that venerable pose in front of a monastery in Tibet… but so far you haven’t even arrived at half lotus (one leg crossed on top of the other). Nor one-quarter lotus, nor one-eighth lotus. Your hips just don’t seem to get with the program, and don’t even get started about the ankles.

Fret not—I have pre-suffered for your convenience to bring you an easy way to achieve lotus in addition to that much sought-after feeling that you’re making progress in your meditation and/or yoga path.

Of course, there’s the question as to whether being able to sit in lotus is essential for meditating or calling yourself a yogi (I’ve explored this idea in the past and don’t subscribe to it), but that’s beside the point if you’re set on wanting to come across as one of the “Ones.” (Vanity as a Spiritual Pathway, anyone?)

So, here’s how you do it. You’ll need a belt or a yoga strap.

1. Wearing comfortable clothing, lie on the floor.

2. Wrap the strap around your left foot and pull it onto the top of your right thigh.

(If you can’t get your left foot onto your right thigh, I’m sorry, but you’ll need to go back to yoga class for a few months and come back later. I never said anybody could do this; just people who aren’t terminally rusty. On the plus side, you won’t hurt yourself and you’ll be wiser and less vain.)

3. Once your left foot in on your right thigh, leave it there and take the strap to your right foot.

4. Using the strap, pull your right foot to the underside of your left knee.

Congratulations. You’re in half lotus position now. This may be it for you for right now if your hips are crying uncle. Do these four steps daily and hold (breathing deeply) for a minute or so on each side, and only proceed to step five after two weeks, two months, two years or two martinis.

5. If your ankles and your hips are reasonably okay with this, using the strap, pull your right foot to the top of your left thigh.

And there you are! Lotus pose!

If this is your first time, call someone over and tell them to snap a picture of you. If it’s not your first time and your legs are reasonably okay, try sitting up like that and behold the world from your newly enlightened state!

Benefits: If you can get into lotus, it’s a fantastically stable position to sit in that requires no back support for comfort.

Skip if: Your hips, your ankles or your knees are making you cry. Try the half lotus instead (up to step four). Rejoice in the knowledge you don’t have to prove anything to anybody.

Final thoughts: I’ve been sitting in lotus position for years and sometimes I prefer to use a chair or lie down for meditation. According to some people, this may be why I’m not enlightened.


Ed: Lynn H.

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